Never before has the fight for graduate jobs and internships been fiercer. The determined applicant needs to stand out and with 10% of LinkedIn’s 136 million members being students or graduates; you face a lot of competition. Here are some tips to get ahead in business networking.
Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success
Your profile will give many employers their first impression of you, so a complete and well written page with a sensible picture is a must. Post links to your other sites with caution. You want employers to see your current affairs blog, not your personal twitter account. Facebook is a definite no and should be made private as employers can easily find it from information provided on LinkedIn. Consider upgrading your account to “Jobseeker”. From £15/month it makes you more visible, letting recruiters message you with greater ease and showing you everybody who has viewed your profile.
No road is long with good company
You want to connect liberally. Family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances are a good start, but you need to dig deeper. Join groups related to your college and profession. From here, asking members for advice can make you further connections. When sending contact requests, remember that manners are critical. Generic messages to those you don’t know appear lazy and make you forgettable and even annoying. Explain who you are, what you have in common, how you think they could help you and sign off by thanking the recipient for his or her time. Posting in the Answers section further boosts your visibility. Your responses are visible on your profile, so showcase your knowledge and experience.
Knowledge is power
LinkedIn is an excellent tool to research jobs, companies and employees. Company pages are a goldmine of information to help you catch the interviewer’s eye. Here you can find press releases, locations and vacancies, along with up to the minute news, or “company buzz”. View the list of employees to see what makes a successful applicant and where employees went to work afterwards. You can even contact recently successful candidates to get the inside scoop on what the recruiter is looking for.
To conclude, LinkedIn will be what you make of it. If you put the work in you will find yourself with a powerful business network that can give your career the kick start it needs.